On the whole, sole custody of children is rare. People often worry about not being able to see their children. This is very understandable, but the reality is that the court generally tries to keep children involved with both parents by allowing those parents to share custody.
That said, sole custody is not unheard of and it does happen. Why would the court decide to rule this way rather than offering joint custody rights?
What makes a parent unfit?
The main reason is that the court deems a person unfit to parent on their own. Cases of abuse may make this very clear. The court wants the child to be safe.
It’s not just about abuse. A history of drug addiction could be brought up, for instance or the lack of a stable living situation and the financial means to care for the child. This doesn’t mean that parents wouldn’t love the child or would ever do anything to harm them. However, they may still be unfit to care for that child on their own. Mental illness and mental disorders are another example.
One thing to note is that sole custody is not always as strict as it sounds. For instance, your ex may get physical custody, meaning that the child generally lives with them all the time, but you will still be given a right to visit the child. This could include overnight visits or even weekend visits. The court will determine if this is safe and wise. If it is, it is typically preferable to a situation where a parent is cut out of the child’s life entirely.
You want your child to be safe and happy. You want to protect your parental rights. Be sure you know what legal steps you can take to accomplish these goals.